Ned James Dunbar, Jr. was born on May 30, 1934 in Lake Village, Arkansas to Ned J. and Louise (Davis) Dunbar, Sr. He was the eldest of seven with five sisters, Cozette Dunbar, Rosia Johnson, Aubrey Tolson, Elma Dunbar, Joann Ramsey, and one brother, Ronald Nathaniel Brown (deceased).
Ned’s family moved to Chicago in 1947 where his family converted to Catholicism and Ned attended Holy Angels Elementary School and St. Elizabeth High School. After high school, he attended Xavier University in New Orleans up to his sophomore year where he studied Biology. Given his strong family values, Ned returned to Chicago after his sophomore year at Xavier University to assist his Mother with the family after his Father’s passing. During this time, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from DePaul University, while being initiated into Alpha Phi Omega’s co-educational intercollegiate service organization, attending the U.S. Army Adjutant General School and continuing his post-graduate studies at Northwestern and Roosevelt Universities.
Ned became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., when he was initiated into the Iota Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi at University of Chicago April 17, 1956. During his 63 years of membership, he was extremely committed to the fraternity’s fundamental purpose of honorable achievement in every field of human endeavor. He was an active Life Member of the Grand Chapter and Founding Contributor to the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, he served as Polemarch for three terms, was on the Board of Directors, served as an officer and committee chairman of the Chicago Alumni Chapter (CAC), founded the Theta Zeta Chapter, established the CAC Scholarship Program, and started the first CAC pledge line.
On August 7, 1971, Ned married Shirley Taylor whom he was devoted to for 47 years; abiding by and loving her in the true essence of the marriage vows they took….”for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, according to God’s holy law”. From their union and love, blossomed his and kindred-spirited beloved daughter, Myra Jean Dunbar and grandson, Carson James Dunbar Braggs.
The gifts that Ned gave through his professional, civic, community, and religious ministry involvement was just as plentiful as those he afforded his family and loved ones.
Ned had long & successful career in information technology spanning over 40 years. He started out as a Systems Analyst with the U.S. Treasury Department, during the late 60s and early 70s which led to him design and develop a computer-programming curriculum aimed at preventing the exclusion of Blacks from professional data and processing positions and thwart the use of a racially bias personnel test. He also worked as the Director of Operational Information Services for City of Chicago Department of Housing, the Director of Management Information Systems for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Director of Information Systems for Prairie State College and City Colleges of Chicago (where he also taught), Vice President of Computer Arts, Inc., Y2K Coordinator for City Colleges of Chicago, retiring as Deputy Chief Information Officer for the City Colleges of Chicago in December 2000. In retirement, he was founder and President of Transition Management, Inc. where he held various contracts with the cities of Gary and Chicago.
In addition to being a successful professional and devoted family man, Ned was committed to his religious faith. He was heavily involved in Our Lady of Peace church and the church community for over 40 year years; serving as President of Our Lady of Peace’s School Board, President of the Parish Council, religious instructor in the Catholic faith for adults (RCIA), a Eucharistic Minister, member and Grand Knight for the Knights of Peter Clever, Usher, Advance Commitment Director for the Millennium Campaign, Lay Director of Christ Renews His Parish II (CHRP). He also served on St. Dorothy School’s Board of Director for four years and as Vice President of their Board for two years.
Ned also served the community in other ways. He did many presentations throughout the Chicagoland area for career awareness programs, served as a mentor in the Lincoln Challenge Program, and was a volunteer member of the task force that implemented the Healthy Start Program in Northwest Indiana to fight infant mortality. He served as coach and team manager of the Tigers for South East Little League where he also served on the Board of Directors and as the league’s Vice President.
He was also an avid fisherman, had a love for music of all genres, as well as all people and cultures and that which they had to offer. In spite of all of his vast array of accomplishments, he always remained humble and often downplayed his accomplishments. He was a refined “Renaissance Man” who exposed himself, his family, and loved ones to all of the things stemming from that which his personal and professional experiences and accomplishments afforded him, which enriched not only the lives of his family members but the lives of many others through his laid back leadership style, uncanny genius about all things, wit, ability to see the possibilities in everything and everyone, insurmountable faith and strength, and his contagious zest for life.
Ned was preceded in death by his Grandmother and the Matriarch of the family, Josephine Bennett; his Mother, Louisa Dunbar; his Father, Ned James Dunbar, Sr.; his three sisters, Elma Dunbar, Aubrey Tolson, and Cozette Dunbar; and his brother, Ronald Brown.
Ned James Dunbar, Jr. joined those whom preceded him in death and was welcomed into eternity on May 15, 2019 at 3:30am in his home, surrounded by his family in the circle of love, he, as the “glue” and patriarch of his family, always strived to cultivate and maintain.
Ned touched the lives of many who are left celebrating the life he lived and cherishing the memories of his faith demonstrated through his steadfast faith in God’s word and doing His work, gentle spiritedness, wisdom, patience, guidance, kind-heartedness, generosity, friendship, and a genuine spirit of love and selflessness shown to all, including [but never limited to], his beloved wife of 47 years, Shirley Dunbar, daughter, Myra Dunbar; grandson, Carson Braggs, two sisters, Rosia Johnson and JoAnn Ramsey, and a host of nieces and nephews, cousins, church family, Fraternity brothers, extended family members, and all of the loved ones which he brought into his fold.
All were his pride and joy and as the Patriarch of his family and others, he loved unconditionally and relentlessly until the day he was called home.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that all memorial contributions be mailed to Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in memory of Mr. Ned Dunbar.
Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church , 7861 South Jeffrey Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60649.